Monday, 16 November 2020

Croatian Drug Manufacturers Call for Effective EU Pharmaceutical Strategy

ZAGREB, November 16, 2020 - The Association of Drug Manufacturers (UPL) with the Croatian Employers' Association (HUP) has called for the adoption of an effective EU pharmaceutical strategy to ensure equal access to drug production and supplies for the benefit of patients and the healthcare systems both in Croatia and the EU.

The UPL on Monday sent an open letter to all relevant stakeholders, including Croatian members of the European Parliament, the Croatian Ministry of Health and the Croatian Parliament's Committee on Health and Social Policy, to make maximum efforts and support the adoption of a robust EU pharmaceutical strategy that would work for the benefit of patients and the national healthcare systems in the European Union and Croatia.

Such a strategy would also reinforce the domestic pharmaceutical industry as the most important partner to the Croatian healthcare system and the strongest manufacturing industry in the country, the UPL said in the letter.

The future pharmaceutical strategy would support innovation in the EU pharmaceutical industry and the European manufacture of drugs and active pharmaceutical substances and thus help improve and accelerate patients' access to safe and affordable medicines, it added.

The new EU pharmaceutical strategy is expected to be adopted by the European Commission by the end of this year.

With its open letter the UPL joined Medicines for Europe, the organisation representing the European generic, biosimilar and valued added pharmaceutical industries, in setting five key priorities - supply security, sustainable and affordable budgets for medicines, aligning regulation on medicines with the digital age, retaining and supporting manufacturing technologies of interest to Europe, and aligning the objectives of the industry with the objectives of public healthcare.

The UPL said that more than 60 percent of the medicines used by patients in Croatia come from its members, which is why it considers the new EU pharmaceutical strategy key for the overall stability of the healthcare system and the successful functioning of the economy as a whole.

The UPL members generate about HRK 7 billion in annual revenues, including as much as HRK 5 billion from exports, UPL chairman Mihael Furjan said. 

The Croatian pharmaceutical industry exports its products to about 60 countries round the world, including the United States and EU member states.

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Financial Aid Essential to Adapt to New EU Strategies, Says Farm Association

ZAGREB, May 20, 2020 - The EU Farm to Fork Strategy and Biodiversity Strategy 2030 need to take into account that Croatia has already met many ecological standards recommended to European farmers, but farmers need financial support to adapt to new plans, the Croatian Chamber of Agriculture said on Wednesday.

The European Commission on Wednesday adopted two new strategies on ecologically and acceptable food system and a biodiversity strategy which comprehends part of the European Green Deal.

The Farm to Fork Strategy includes several targets that need to be met by 2030 - reduce the use and risk of pesticides by 50%, reduce the use of fertilizers by at least 20%, reduce the sale of antimicrobials for farmed animals and in aquaculture by 50%, and reach the target of at least 25% of the EU’s agricultural land under organic farming.

The new biodiversity strategy recommends that at least 30% of land and seas be transformed into effectively managed protected areas bringing back at least 10% of agricultural area under high-diversity landscape features.

"Funding of EUR 20 billion/year will be unlocked for biodiversity through various sources, including EU funds, national and private funding," the European Commission said in a press release calling on the European Parliament and Council to support the two strategies and their obligations and inviting citizens to engage in broad public debate.

The Croatian Chamber of Agriculture (HPK) commented on the latest documents presented yesterday recommending a smaller budget for agriculture while introducing greater demands saying that this was concerning for farmers throughout Europe.

HPK underlined that Croatia has already met numerous ecological standards that the EU has put to farmers - a clean environment (more than 50% of the Natura Area) GMO-free farmland, economic diversification as an advantage.

HPK believes that the new strategies need to take account of three pillars of sustainability: economic, social, and ecological.

"If farmers are to additionally contribute to this ambitious plan they need to be provided with adequate financial support and a transition period to adapt," HPK said.

Environment Minister Tomislav Coric welcomed the biodiversity strategy describing it as one of the key elements of the European Green Deal, underlining that in the latest circumstances the strategy was more relevant than ever.